Clare Lindsay, professional counsellor and author of Conquering Anorexia, explains why being assertive can enhance your career and gives some tips on how to put assertiveness into practice
Assertiveness has the potential to open more career doors than any other set of personal skills. It can boost self esteem, build confidence, reduce personal stress levels, and help people get as much from their working environment as they can. With the ability to treat colleagues positively and fairly, assertive people gain the respect and genuine liking of those they work with. They feel good about themselves and their abilities, respond well to difficult situations, and manage their time efficiently by saying “No” to unreasonable demands. Creating around them a relaxed environment in which problems can be openly discussed, assertive people give and receive criticism constructively, deal with negative emotions healthily, and handle conflict effectively. Communicating assertively can lead to happier working conditions, lower stress levels, and greater performances at work.
Learning to be assertive is probably of greater relevance to medical students and junior doctors than doctors already established